Self Made Millionaire & First Black Woman to Own and Operate a Cosmetic Tattoo Academy in GA, Feleshia Sams

Feleshia Sams, a serial entrepreneur, cosmetic tattoo artist, and owner of the Atlanta-based Academy of Advanced Cosmetics (AAC). AAC is a cosmetic training academy and hub for beauty technicians to learn the ins and outs of cosmetic tattooing. Feleshia is also the owner and creator of the cosmetic tattoo app, CozTat. She is the first black woman to launch such an app that links cosmetic tattoo artists and potential clients. Using CozTat, clients can search for cosmetic tattoo artists in their area, review past work, see prices and availability, book appointments, and leave reviews.

Being in the cosmetic and beauty industry for over 16 years, Feleshia has seen the impact that cosmetic tattoos have had on clients. Most notably, she has seen how this art changes the lives of breast cancer survivors, allowing them to feel whole, complete, and healed. Understanding that cosmetic tattoos serve a purpose greater than that of permanent makeup, Feleshia wants to share her vast knowledge of the art with your audience, talk about what it means to trailblaze in the tech industry as a black woman, and bring awareness to the many ways in which cosmetic tattooing can be used to restore their confidence. If none of these angles work, I’m excited to hear what you have in mind instead!

We Empower Magazine got an exclusive interview with Feleshia Sams.

How does it feel to be the first black woman to own and operate a cosmetic tattoo academy?

Feleshia: It feels great to have been someone who has broken down barriers in this industry.  I remember when being the only black woman in the room when going to conferences and training.  So, it feels really great to see that I have inspired other black women to pursue this as a career path.

How has your journey been becoming a self-made millionaire?

Feleshia: It has been a long hard road.  There is absolutely nothing easy about this but it was all worth it.  My goal was to simply do what I enjoyed in life and thankfully I have been awarded financially for it.

How has business been during the pandemic?

Feleshia: Business has been pretty interesting.  When the pandemic first started, and we were shut down for a few months I was extremely nervous about the future.  However, the time being down allowed for me to restructure my business, come up with new ideas, and do things that I had put off for so long.  As a result, I found myself making money in areas that I typically did not.

For example, my online courses were supporting my business being closed and showed me that this is a stream of income that I can continue even after the world opened back up.    The pandemic taught me to work smarter and by doing so freed up time to do more of the things that made me more money.  Therefore, making me more profitable.

What are some of the most memorable moments in your career so far?

Feleshia: One of the most memorable moments in my career was being tagged on a post from and mentee.  She shared her story publicly of how she went from living in her car to now making a 6-figure income all from the permanent makeup skills that I taught her.  Despite having previously received awards, write-ups, and media that meant more than anything.  Being able to bless someone through my blessings was absolutely the most memorable moment in my entire career.

Who has inspired you to become the woman that you are today?

Feleshia: Hands down my mother.  After watching her start, run, and then after 20 years sell a successful business inspired me to do the same.  She is and still continues to be my road map to success.

How do you feel you make a difference in the world?

Feleshia: I feel that I make a difference in the world by “changing lives”.  I got that saying from an employee that told me one day that you know what Feleshia, you have changed so many lives.  We literally have students that were single parents, barely making minimum wage, and living paycheck to paycheck now able to support themselves in a big way and do so by enjoying their careers.

That is when I realized that what I was doing was impactful.  I was able to have a positive impact on people’s lives and by doing so showed me I was making an actual difference in a big way throughout my career.

What advice would you have for women who aspire to become entrepreneurs?

Feleshia: give up, have thick skin, and get organized.  There’s so much more that I can say but these three things have worked so well for me event to this day.

What else would you like us to know about the work that you do?

Feleshia: My business is all about cosmetic tattooing (permanent makeup).  I started as an artist 16 years ago and to this day I still absolutely love what I do.  Most people only look at this business and only think of eyebrows, eyeliner, and lips but this industry is sooooo much more.  Cosmetic Tattooing has evolved in the medical industry and is now providing men and women with scar camouflaging and breast cancer survivors with areola repigmentation for nipple reconstruction.

This is the one industry that you can make well over 6 figures with no college degree and YES it’s actually legal… lol. As my business evolves, I am now about 20% into actually doing the service and I would say about 80% in training and mentoring others.  My goal is to make my students financially independent in this industry so I don’t only train but I provide resources, clients, and opportunities for them every step of the way.


Keep up to date:

@Feleshia Sams

@AAC _ Training


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